hair transplant History: 2 centuries of hair restoration

The history of hair transplant had started more than 183 years ago, but the real revolution of these procedures reached its climax with the discovery of micrografting and its applications.

The idea beyond hair transplantation 

It is easy to understand the concept of hair transplant and the scientific methods to achieve it. Hair grows on the back and sides of the scalp is not subject to baldness and hereditary alopecia. In the beginner and advanced degrees of baldness, the hair on the sides and back of head resists male pattern of baldness. The reason is that these areas of the scalp are not subject to the effect of male hormones testosterone. The hormone DHT, which is a product of the testosterone,is the main factor of hair loss in male hair baldness, and the hormone levels in blood stream control that kind of hair loss.

Hair transplant is a process related to aesthetic restoration procedures. It depends on the redistribution of the hair on the scalp. The process of redistribution is how to use the sense of an artist to paint a portrait. The hair restoration specialist will use the hair characteristics of the patient, and the patient’s goals to create natural results. The suitable goals of both the patient and the physician will decide the results of the procedure and the rational and supposed look.

The restoration process rests on the technique of the operation, and the physician ability to use the suitable technique to show the best results. The hair restoration specialist must have the enough knowledge of the human facial anatomy, the good surgical skills, and the previous training in the field of hair restoration. The physician must deal with each patient solely, and study each case thoroughly because hair transplant is an individual surgery.

The break out of hair transplant history

The science of hair transplant had started early in the late 18th century, but it was just incomplete trials to transplant parts of the skin that bear hair from animals and humans. The modern hair transplant history began in 1939, when Okuda, a Japanese scientist, was able to describe the punch technique. He worked on a number of patients who suffer some burns. He transplanted round grafts of the skin that contain hair follicles from specific parts of the permanent areas. The transplanted follicles were able to produce new hair in their new locations, which is a reference to a significant success of the process. After Okuda, there was another Japanese dermatologist, Dr. Tamura, developed the technique of micro-grafts to transplant the pubic hair in females. He obtained small micro-grafts by making an elliptical incision in the donor area. We can say that the technique invented by Dr. Tamura is the currently used technique nowadays.

In 1952, Dr. Norman Orentreicht rediscovered the modern hair transplant technique, and he performed the first reliable hair transplant for alopecia. After many years of his operation, Dr. Orentreicht published the results of his work to erupt the revolution of hair transplant. His publication is the first trusted reference of hair transplant history to put the theory of the donor area dominance.

Hair Functions

The growth pattern of hair and its functions are not completely clear for scientists. Our ancestors were much hairier than we were today, and there is no comprehensive understanding for the reasons beyond the decrease of the hairlines. Some scientists attribute that the function of hair is to warm the human body in cold territories and to insulate from the weather. It may refer to the capability of the skin and its ability to produce hair. Each hair is a complete biological unit and it contains a sebaceous gland next to the shaft. This gland is responsible for producing yellow, fatty substance. This substance is the sebum that plays the role of a lubricant to smooth, soften and tender hair. The gland squeezes to produce the lubricant on the surface of the hair when the pili muscle contracts. Hair is the first natural protector against the ultra-violet rays of the sun. The hair of the scalp protects the skull from some kinds of traumas. Hair also protects skin from rubbing together in some areas of the body, such as the groin.

Hair may have some impact on the human self-esteem and confidence and it helps to integrate the body image. People use hair as an expression of the personality and it reflects the character of the person from one side and the appearance from the other side. It is a complex and complete organ of our bodies, in spite of our morphological thinking of hair. If you look at your hair as a complete organ, you will find that this complex structure contains nerves, glands, muscles, and blood vessels that work in harmony and integration to continue its vitality and health.

Hair cycle and technique of growth

The numbers of hair follicles in the normal human scalp range between 50,000:65,000 follicles that produce hair. The follicle is the production unit of hair, and each follicle produces groups of one to four hairs. Hair grows in cycles, and these cycles are of three main phases of growth. The first phase is anagen, in which the terminal hair grows actively, and it lasts from two to seven years. The second and the shortest phase is the catagen, and it lasts between 2-3 weeks. In the catagen phase, the follicles form the club because of the contraction of the middle part of the follicles, and the growth stops. The last phase is the telogen, which lasts about three to four months. In this phase, the fine and vellus hair rests, and the bulb comes out from the papilla. The process of pushing out the old hair is for the sake of new hair production. Our hair follicles enter the growth cycle ten to twenty times in a lifetime. There are many signs of hair loss, such as the presence of a noticeable amount of hair on the comb or in the tub. Excessive hair loss is not necessary to be a type of common hair baldness because the types of hair loss are diverse and complex. Hair is generally a complex and integrated organ, and the causes of its loss are according to certain specification and characteristics.